The ‘Will & Grace’ Episode Honoring Debbie Reynolds Is “Funny & Moving”, According to Debra Messing
As soon as news broke that Will & Grace would be coming back last year, fans immediately wondered how the show would handle Debbie Reynolds' death, since she played Grace's mother, Bobbi Adler, on the show. Sadly, she's gone in the Will & Grace universe, too — but her memory still lives on. During Saturday's Paleyfest panel, Messing shared her memories of Reynolds from the time they spent together on set, ahead of Thursday's episode of the show that will be in honor the actor.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the episode brings Will, Grace, and her family together to celebrate Bobbi's birthday and pay tribute to her. On screen, Grace and Bobbie had a contentious relationship, especially because of Bobbi's love of being the center of attention. But after everything Messing said, in real life, it's obvious the actors' bond was nothing but love. At the panel, Messing gushed about what a talented performer she was — which is no surprise to anyone who's seen any of Reynolds' movies.
“Debbie was really indescribable. She would come onstage and she was a broad in the greatest sense. She always was entertaining and singing and dancing and she was running off and doing a one woman show 300 days of the year. It was just crazy.”
In 2016, fans were devastated to hear that Reynolds had died at age 84, just one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, passed away. The news was certainly heartbreaking, and at the panel, Sean Hayes, who plays Jack on the show, said that Reynolds used to introduce herself to everyone on set as "Princess Leia's mother," which isn't surprising at all considering how close she and Fisher were.
And speaking of motherhood, it was also one of the things Messing and Reynolds talked about while she was working on Will & Grace.
"She and I would sit together and we would talk about being mothers — because I was a new mother — and she would talk about Carrie, and we would talk about the challenges of being a working mom," Messing said.
It's hard to accept that Will & Grace (and the world in general) has gone on without Reynolds, even though she only played a guest starring role in the series. Fortunately, Bobbi Adler will always live on in the episodes she appeared in — and as the person who truly originated Grace's "told you so" dance, even if she tries not to be like her mother.
And where Bobbi is concerned, it certainly sounds like the episode is going to be a good one for anyone who misses her presence on the show. EW added that the episode centers on Grace not wanting her father to sell her childhood home, because of all of the memories of her mother that exist there.
"She really became someone very, very, very special in my heart, and I really wanted us to honor her," Messing said of Thursday's episode. "She meant so much to the show, and I really think that the episode that they wrote honors her — it’s funny and it’s moving.”
"Funny and moving." Yep, that sounds like we should all get ready to cry a lot.
It's awesome to see how Will & Grace has found a way to include Reynolds' character in the show's revival, and hopefully, there will be more references in future seasons now that it's been renewed for two more. Over a year later, it's still hard to imagine that Reynolds is no longer around to make people laugh, but it's obvious she won't be forgotten.